Movie Review: The Square (2017)

Not every day I review something from my own country. In fact, it’s quite a rarity. But today I’m bringing you such a thing. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s not a circle or a triangle… it’s “The Square”.

The story follows Christian (Claes Bang), the chief art curator at a very prestigious museum in Stockholm, as he goes through some trouble both in his personal life and his professional one, all while setting up a new art exhibit called “The Square”. So now we have our movie. And it’s a weird one. I could follow it all just fine, and I mostly understood the themes throughout the movie, all presented very well and implemented in some really solid ways. However, sometimes the movie feels like it jumps around quite a bit, not always having the best flow. There were several times when it went from one scene to the next and I had a feeling of “Oh, now we jumped to this place”. I’m sure this won’t bother a lot of people, and it’s not a total deal-breaker for me, but it did bug a me a little bit. But aside from that, this is a layered, intriguing, odd, and overall entertaining plot.

The characters in this are layered, flawed, and interesting. Claes Bang plays the main character of Christian, the chief art curator of this museum. He seemingly has a bit of a chip on his shoulder, but he never comes off as an asshole, as he does have some good charm and decent intentions behind his actions. And he does get some good development throughout. And Bang is great in the role. We also get some supporting performance from people like Elisabeth Moss, Christopher Læssø, Dominic West, John Nordling, Terry Notary, and many more, all doing very well in their respective parts.

What’s interesting about the music of “The Square” is that there are no pieces composed specifically for the movie, but instead they just use a couple of licensed tracks to convey various things, with “Improvisació number 1” by Bobby McFerrin being the most frequently used track. And all of them work pretty well in their respective scenes. Makes for an interesting sound for the movie.

“The Square” was written and directed by Ruben Östlund, and I think he did a great job. There’s a lot of interesting angles he gets throughout, perfectly utilizing his sets, light sources, and actors, giving the movie an intriguing visual style. The movie also has an interesting sense of humor throughout. It’s a sort of awkward and weird style of humor that isn’t as direct as most comedies, but still gets a laugh when it needs to. There also a point when the movie is kinda suspenseful, making for its best scene.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 73/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.

“The Square” is a unique and interesting movie. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, good music, and great directing. As previously mentioned, it is brought down by the plot’s jumpiness not quite working for me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Square” is an 8,89/10. So while slightly flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “The Square” is now completed.

I hope that the invitation to the exhibition read “Be there or be square”.

Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

10 years. That is how long the Marvel Cinematic Universe has existed. Starting with 2008’s “Iron Man”, it has gone to become one of the biggest franchises in cinema. Say what you want about the movies themselves, but you can’t deny the impact this franchise has had on modern cinema. And now it’s time to talk about it’s latest outing. And it’s a big one.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Avengers: Infinity War”.

A powerful alien named Thanos (Josh Brolin) in on a quest to find all of the infinity stones so he can carry out a devastating plan. So the heroes of the Marvel universe have to team up to try and stop him. And that’s about as in-depth as I will go with the plot details in case anyone reading this hasn’t seen it yet (but want to). But what I can say is that there’s a lot of stuff going on throughout this plot, with several threads in various locations. I don’t envy any filmmaker who has to try and balance this many plot threads. But they really nailed it with this one. It’s a big, epic comic book plot that is surprisingly dark and emotionally charged while still giving us the fun superhero romp that we expect from these Marvel movies. It even made me tear up. Yeah, this is a good plot.

The characters in this are plentiful, and while I would’ve liked a bit more out of some of them, I understand why some were a little more sidelined, especially since the filmmakers had to get so many in there in general. Not gonna go through all that get development, but I will say that they’re handled very well. And those that doesn’t get as much here, they’re still cool and entertaining and well set up through the other movies. But let’s talk about Josh Brolin as Thanos. Holy shit, he is an awesome villain. Not only is he a big and intimidating new foe, but they actually give him layers and make him a compelling antagonist. You understand his motivation, even if you don’t necessarily agree with him. And that’s how some of the best villains work. And Brolin delivers a great performance. Sure, Thanos is a big CGI beast, but Brolin did the motion capture for it, and every little aspect of his performance shines through here. Now to just list a fuckload of actors here because they need to be mentioned, but I can’t go through ’em in detail (too many for that). Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Chris Pratt, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Dave Bautista, Anthony Mackie, Letitia Wright, Tim Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Wong, Danai Gurira, Pom Klementieff, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Gwyneth Paltrow, Peter Dinklage, William Hurt, Terry Notary, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Michael James Shaw, Carrie Coon, Stan Lee, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Kerry Condon, and so many more (some I don’t wanna spoil). Fuck, that’s a lot of actors. All doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Alan Silvestri, and it is stunning. A lot of big brass, some smaller and more emotional string pieces, and a few other things. It’s a score that perfectly complements the movie and fits each scene perfectly. It’s one of those scores that really added to the movie.

This movie was directed by Joe & Anthony Russo. And I have to say, well done, you two. Their directing here is big and sweeping (makes sense for a flick of this size), yet also tight and intimate, bringing good insight into the turmoil of the characters. And compared to the action scenes of their previous MCU outings, there’s not a lot of “Bourne” inspired shaky-cam here. It’s more locked down, giving us a better look at all the crazy shit that’s going on. Yes, there are a few shaky shots, but those make a bit of sense for their respective bits. But the action in general is shot relatively smoothly and it’s all quite badass. Heroes and villains tossing each other around and punching each other and shooting each other, and it’s all so much fun. It’s also surprisingly heavy-hitting, with every attack/hit feeling like there’s a lot of actual impact behind it. And at this point I don’t think I need to talk about the visual effects, they’re pretty much guaranteed to be extraordinary in these movies. And they are so here too. And Trent Opaloch’s cinematography is fantastic too, there are some truly breathtaking shots in this.

This movie just came out, but it has already been really well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,1/10 and is ranked #9 on the “Top 250” list.

“Avengers: Infinity War” is pretty much everything you could want from this type of movie. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and great directing/cinematography/visual effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Avengers: Infinity War” is a 9,73/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My final score for “Avengers: Infinity War” is now completed.

I honestly have no idea where they’ll go from here…

Movie Review: War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

It has come to this. From James Franco trying to use science to help people, to apes and humans having to reluctantly cooperate to survive… to a war. The end of an era.

Ladies and gentlemen… “War for the Planet of the Apes”.

When the ape colony faces a horrible tragedy, Caesar (Andy Serkis) has to go on the hunt for the army that caused this tragedy to get revenge. So now we have our ape-drama. That’s right, you heard me… ape drama. It’s not so much a straight-forward war movie as it is Caesar’s personal conflict, both against a physical threat and his own inner darkness. And this plot is tense, epic, intriguing, and emotional. Really, it’s pretty fantastic.

The characters here are all interesting as all hell, especially those we’ve gotten to know over several movies. Andy Serkis of course returns as Caesar, our portagonape. And you can tell that he’s in a much darker place here than in the previous movies. He’s struggling with his inner darkness, showing that he’s incredibly conflicted about his path of revenge. And that makes him insanely compelling. And Serkis is fucking fantastic in the role. Karin Konoval returns as Maurice, Caesar’s right hand orangutan. And Maurice is still a great character, the voice of reason. And Konoval is great in the role. Terry Notary returns as Rocket, another of Caesar’s closest pals. And he’s still a badass. And Notary is great in the role. Alright, new people time! First up, Woody Harrelson as The Colonel, a Colonel who’s a bit of a dick and is also the leader of the army that Caesar goes after. And while he at first can seem like a generic evil Colonel type character, you soon learn that he (and the other humans) are just desperate to survive. They don’t wanna be dicks, but they kind of have to so they don’t get wiped out. And Harrelson is great in the role. Then we have Amiah Miller as a little girl that Caesar and crew runs into during their journey. She can’t speak, but she is still quite interesting. And Miller is pretty damn good in the role. Then we have Steve Zahn as Bad Ape, a strange ape that Caesar and crew run into. He is meant to be a sort of conic relief character, which could go to shit very easily in such a dark and serious movie. But they manage to find the right balance of humor and emotion with him to make him fit in very well. And Zahn is great. Really, all the performances here are quite solid.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Giacchino and it was pretty damn fantastic. You do get tracks that are the big badass bombastic battle brass ones, but you also get a good amount of tracks that are a bit more quiet for the moments that need something more intimate and emotional. And it all comes together to make a beautiful package that enhances the movie in every way.

The movie was directed by Matt Reeves, the man behind “Dawn of the Planet of the Planet of the Apes”. And once again, he knocked it out of the god damn park. His directing here is big and sweeping, but also tight and personal, never losing sight of the characters among some of the bigger moments. And while this isn’t a straight-up action movie, there are still a couple of action scenes in this movie. And they are big, badass, and intense. The movie is also quite brutal for a PG-13… just thought I’d mention that. And I don’t think I really have to talk about the visual effects, because you already know that they are absolutely incredible. These apes look real. I have trouble believing that this was done with computers, the amount of detail in the fur and movements combined with external effects looks so incredibly real… but this is CGI, and it’s some of the best CGI I’ve ever seen.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 82/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“War for the Planet of the Apes” is a fantastic movie, and solidifies this as one of the best trilogies ever. It has a fantastic plot, great characters, great performances, fantastic music, and amazing directing/cinematography/visual effects. Time for my final score. *APES!*. My final score for “War for the Planet of the Apes” is a 9,88/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “War for the Planet of the Apes” is now completed.

Apes. Together. Strong.